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New 3rd MAW commander visits station, chats with Marines

By Lance Cpl. M. Daniel Sanchez | | September 20, 2007


The 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing commanding general arrived on station Sept. 20 to meet with Marines and sailors from Marine Aircraft Group 13 and its subordinate commands.

Maj. Gen. Terry G. Robling, who recently took command of the wing in July, spent two days speaking with Marines and visiting the MAG’s aircraft and support squadrons.

Robling stopped in work section after work section to speak with as many Marines as possible.

He delved right into the lives of his Marines outside of work, asking them how they spent their free time in Yuma, where they were from and even when the last time they visited home.

It’s good to see top-level leadership learning about the units they oversee and speaking to the Marines, said Staff Sgt. Leslie T. Gill, Marine Attack Squadron 311 power line staff noncommissioned officer-in-charge.

It enables the Marines to put a face with the name and billet, which is hard to do since MAG-13 is located far from 3rd MAW headquarters, said Gill.

“It just makes it more personal so Marines can see him as a person as well as a leader,” said Gill, a Tulsa, Okla., native.

It is also a good opportunity for the general to get to know his Marines, see how they live, the condition of the facilities and what the Marines do, added Gill.

“Reports and documents reflect one thing, but a firsthand visit can give leaders a better understanding of how things work,” he said.

When the commanders take time to speak with the Marines, it shows them the jobs they do and their welfare is important, said Cpl. Mario Dorado, VMA-311 flight equipment technician and native of Fort Worth, Texas.

Robling also participated in a small ceremony held by VMA-311, where he presented Lt. Col. Robert B. Sofge, VMA-311 commanding officer, with a Chief of Naval Operations Aviation Safety Award.

According to the Naval Safety Center, “The (CNO) safety awards are given to recognize operational excellence, exemplary safety contributions and to further the Naval Aviation Safety Program … and consideration for a CNO safety award requires meeting the highest standards of aviation safety.”

“This is a great testament to you,” said Robling, congratulating the squadron. “You do all the things the commandant asks you to do, and you do it safely.” Squadrons that do the little things right, do the big things right and it shows right here, said Robling.

Before calling it a day, Robling visited Marine Wing Support Squadron 371 and Marine Air Control Squadron 1 which are located at the Cannon Air Defense Complex, approximately eight miles south of the main station.

Prior to his departure Friday, Robling attended a breakfast ceremony here in honor of the 2007 National POW/MIA Recognition Day.

Robling took the reigns of leadership of the wing July 13 during a change of command ceremony held at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif. Robling has held multiple positions within 3rd MAW during his career, to include: pilot and weapon systems officer instructor with Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 101, executive and commanding officer of Marine All-Weather

Fighter Attack Squadron 242 and commanding officer of MAG-11.

He has also served as the chief of staff to the assistant wing commander and commanding general of the 3rd MAW while deployed to Iraq in 2003.

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